Thailand: Wage hikes likely fixed by Friday

The tripartite committee considering minimum daily wage hikes is expected to reach its final decision today amid concern that too much of a raise could be detrimental to workers and businesses.

The committee is represented by employees, employers and government organisations including the Ministry of Commerce, the Bank of Thailand and economists.

While many employers sitting on the board of the Employers’ Confederation of Thailand (ECT) accepted a wage rise of between 7% and 10%, employers at SMEs found them excessive given the slow economy, said Boonchob Suthamanaswong, permanent secretary for labour.

They are expected to be introduced between October and January, he said.

He noted Udon Thani, Mukdahan and Nan have not proposed new rates while some provinces have floated considerably higher wage hikes than others in the same zone, said Mr Boonchob, who also chairs the committee.

Too-high wages could draw workers away from neighbouring provinces, creating a glut in one place and shortages elsewhere, he warned.

An informed source said the wage committee is likely to decide on the new wage rates today but leave the launch date for later talks.

Meanwhile, prices of consumer products will climb more as a result of these rising labour costs, cautioned Nuttanan Wichitaksorn, an economist at the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI).

As such, any rises should be moderate to allow the government to offer measures to help workers beat the high cost of living, he said.

He urged more state subsidies for tap water, electricity and free lunches for staff, adding the new rates should also apply to migrants.

Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/2377091/wage-hikes-likely-fixed-by-friday